Creole heritage is best reflected in a black iron pot filled with steaming aromatic gumbo. Gumbo, a dish with the consistency of soup, is essentially a dark brown roux to which has been added stock, seafood or meat, and seasonings. OAK GROVE SMOKEHOUSE CREOLE GUMBO MIX provides the basis for an infinite variety of gumbos. Many kinds of meat and seafood are used in the preparation of gumbo. A sausage commonly used in gumbo in South Louisiana is andouille(pronounced awn-doo-ee), a coarsely ground pork sausage highly flavored with onion and garlic. Andouille is usually combined with other ingredients in gumbo such as oysters or chicken.
Traditional thickening agents for gumbo are okra and file’. The definition of gumbo is “a soup thickened with okra pods.” During summer months when fresh okra is plentiful, many South Louisiana cooks prepare and freeze garden-fresh okra and tomatoes for later use in gumbos. Sliced okra is combined with other gumbo ingredients and cooked along with the gumbo. File'(pronounced fee-lay) is crushed and dried leaves of sassafras that adds a distinictive taste to gumbo. It was used by the Choctaw Indians long before the first settlers arrived in Louisiana. Unlike okra, file’ should never be cooked with the gumbo or the finished gumbo will be stringy. File’ is sprinkled over the gumbo as it is served.
The kind of meat or seafood used in gumbo as well as the desired thickening agent determines the name of the gumbo. For instance, add chicken to the basic mixture for Chicken Gumbo, add sliced okra for Chicken and Okra gumbo, or use a combination of shrimp, crawfish, crab and oysters for Seafood Gumbo. Add smoked sausage to Chicken Gumbo and thicken with file’ to make File’ Gumbo with Chicken and Sausage.
Gumbo is traditionally served in large flat soup bowls over mounds of hot rice or with rice on the side. In OAK GROVE SMOKEHOUSE CREOLE GUMBO MIX the rice is already included, so it makes a complete one-dish meal. A much smaller bowl of gumbo served as a first course will give the most simple meal a gourmet touch. Each native South Louisiana family has its favorite gumbo recipe, the secrets of which are sought by gourmets the world over. With OAK GROVE SMOKEHOUSE CREOLE GUMBO MIX it is easy to create a perfect gumbo to suit every taste.